By the mid '00s, Simian Mobile Disco was among the leaders of the indie-dance crossover pack. Its in-your-face, heavily vocal pump-ups were largely responsible for getting rock kids out on the floor again, thanks to the infectious sass of monster tracks such as "Hustler," off the 2007 debut, Attack Decay Sustain Release. And the 2009 followup, Temporary Pleasure, only further cemented this genre-straddling.
So when the duo of James Ford and James "Jas" Shaw this year released its latest full-length collection, Delicacies, some fans were understandably confused. Unapologetically deep and dubby, the nine tracks are, essentially, pure techno and don't offer a single sing-along hook.
But those who listen carefully, and who have followed the pair's extracurricular activities, will note it as an evolution. "We've always had kind of a techno leaning. But it's almost like a Jekyll and Hyde thing with the pop stuff," Ford says.
Simian Mobile Disco
With Radio Slave, JDH 305-995-5050; miamieve.com. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $15 via wantickets.com. As part of Ultra Music Festival, with a performance Saturday, March 26. Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Gates open at noon Saturday. Tickets are sold out; ultramusicfestival.com.
Still, fans missing the other side of the Simian Mobile Disco spectrum shouldn't despair. Ford and Shaw are working on another album that will bring back some of the old pop flair. And at Ultra, the group will duly play the old hits, reworked to blend seamlessly with the new.
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"We still play 'Hustler' in the live show to be fair, though we've got a bunch of different versions. And we still play stuff from the first album," Ford says. "We probably will play, like, 50-50, but they mix together quite well. You'd be quite surprised how it feels like one bunch of music."